Specifics of speciesism: Physis and visible presence (fragment)

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Specifics of speciesism: Physis and visible presence (fragment)

This fragment as a PDF

– The differing, specific physicalness of a nonhuman animal is the criterion upon which humans base their argumentation of proof: that a nonhuman animal cannot physically reason to a more complex content than the limit and quality of capacity the humans ascribe to them.

– The biological markers become an absolute-instance-of-ability in context with quality of existence and existential meaning.

– The state of being a nonhuman animal in itself becomes thus supposedly fully explicable, the constructed explicability is so far never taken our of the human-defined context, not even by their defenders.

– Only in mythological and ancient human folklore we find traces of different ascriptions to nonhuman animal physicality (partly also in childrends literature and modern folklore, but to a more humancentric extent).

– The big religious belief systems built their image of the human and god on an equal plane and set that as a standard criterion for leading a qualified reasonable life separate from the state of nature, nonhumans had been even in ancient philosophies seen as the same as ‘brute nature’ – based on their physical difference and uniqueness/specialness.

– Even today the comparison between “humanness” and “animalness” is being sought in favour of humans as the quality marker for reason and ethics, ethics, morals, reasoning, love, relations, socialness, etc. it is not fundamentally sought in different nonhuman cultures – most prominently language and philosophy as bound to the physis of the human, not the nonhuman, whereas wisdom is sought in “nature” to a huge but yet unclear and unexplained extent in humanity.

– The natural sciences were a tool when they dealt with bodies of animality, to draw separations, thus Galen and later Descartes famously vivisected, while basing on a mixture in their thought between religion and ‘natural sciences’ … Natural sciences only emboldened that certain physics are bound to certain existentual qualities, which the human will define and ‘prove’.

– A seperationist culture is being created in human social life, where humanity and animality and nonhuman life is finely segregated, basically and basically philosophically, so that people don’t even think and see anymore, but solely follow the total norm.

– Sadism, violence to the physis of nonhumanity is the warning shot, the societal execution, the harshest separator that keeps humanity an wanted and unwanted enemy to animality (as operating with fear i.e. ‘speciesist totalitarian structures’).

Basic antispe considerations

I scribbled this down for my friend hiesl @germanvegan, and we want to share these brief thoughts with everyone else …

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Some basic radical antispe considerations about activities on a theoretical and practical plane

Theoretical / practical activities that help combat speciesism in the environment in your reach:

– Make being a radical antispeciesist part of your public and private personality.

– Use your possibilities to create safe-spaces for nonhuman individuals/life.

– Expect people to be able to think and reflect about social justice in a nonhuman-inclusive form.

– Use the internet e.g. or any place where you can express yourself to create postulations in order to forward radical antispeciesism – make your stance (this is also a form of self-empowerment).

– Learn weighing out positions, opinions, infos, sources, dynamics of communication via media: the AR movement isn’t a ‘clear spring’, it even harbors a lot of speciesism (like the biologistic one most often), animal-derogation, normalized speciesist-humansocieties-centered ‘megalomania’, etc. That is why the only safe way to navigate your activist field is to follow your own convictions that result from the ultimate experiences you gather together with the nonhuman contacts, friendships, relations you encounter. Animallib – or also respecting animal autonomy – aren’t empty words but should manifest in an actual antispeciesist praxis.

– “Common sense” – such as you apply in intra-human affairs – might be the best guide and the one that offers the most independent flexibility to learn and provide the freedom of thought you need.

Specifics of speciesism: aesthetics (fragment)

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A nonhuman-inclusive critique of the view on aesthetics and speciesism on the current Animal Rights and Animal Liberation movements (fragment)

This fragment as a PDF

The Animal Rights discussion ends here:

  • The missing discussion of specifics of nonhuman oppression, in its exact manifestations as humiliation, degradation, negation, violence is currently a hinderance of further development in the political efficacy of the “Animal Rights movement”.
  • The discussion is omitted in sectors that deal with
    • interrelated oppressive systems > how is it to be specifically “food” e.g.
    • with Animal Liberation, which takes biologism uncriticized (as if not posing a problem with nonhumans, only for humans) > the entire layer of theories are not “liberated”
    • in the Human-Animal-Studies sector which so far seems to a.) separate between the quality of human versus nonhuman oppression and b.) does not contextualize with environmental ethics due to a seperative focus on nonhuman animals and humans > academic adherence creates insufficient epistemologies
  • Contextualizing animality within the broadest possible fields seems to be necessary, in order to create an adequacy in perspective on sociological, ecological, philosophical e.g. parameters and qualificators of the nonhuman situation as faced with speciesist oppression.

Specifics of oppression in speciesism: I am taking aesthetics as this is the most overlooked field of problem within the Animal Rights movement considering the powerfulness aesthetics hold in human societies and the specifics of speciesism and aesthetics as an oppressive tool.

  • Aesthetics in arts is one way in which animal degradation takes form. In which ways does this occur?
  • The exact ‘speciality’ of speciesist and/or nonhuman derogative aesthetics can be observed.
  • What makes up aesthetics in its cultural function overall. The central roles have to be considered which wilfulness (Willkür), taste/preference (Geschmack, Präferenz), mode (Machart), subjectiveness play.

Nonhuman-inclusiveness

  • “Thinking experiences” (Denkerfahrungen) of nonhumanity must be taken into account > multiplication with the perspectives of nonhuman others on the basis of e.g. the shared fact of individual existence and individuality – leaving difference and don’t require sameness (this is my posulation), yet locate “life” in “one world” (…).
  • If we exclude nonhumanness again from all possibilities of angles of narration and narrative, we keep on repeating and perpetuating the initial species-denouncing act.

Human societies “love” nature while they negate it

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Nonhumans talk with nonhumans
Nonhumans talk with ‘nature’

Humans talk about nature
and define it.

Who respects nature more? Who is more positively relevant to nature as a whole?

Nonhumans are. Human societies “love” nature while they negate it.

Nonhumanthinking

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Specific criterions of speciesist humiliations: (1) designation as a “food” resource

Fragment: Why is it important to highlight the specifics of an oppressive system: The structure of denial and negation mostly serves to “legitimize” oppression/injustice, and these kinds of ‘humilitation’ take specific forms and function as instruments of oppression. In the case of speciesism the title as: food i.e. being designated to be the food the oppressor “nourishes” him-/herself from, plays a most tragically remarkable role.

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Where intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together.

If you keep relegating animality into reductive frameworks while doing animal advocacy work, your activism isn’t really aware of the scopes of ethical, political, sociological interfaces between nature-animality-humanity …

Messel; Nonhuman-inclusive; Animal Autonomy

applying_what_frameworksWhere intersections turn crossroads: shared factors of oppressive functions, separating markers. Seeing what makes each case unique might help putting the puzzles together.

With all the intersections (and what I’d additionally call the interfaces equally) given, there are also clearly factors that in the end of the day categorically separate one system of oppression from another, and in the case of the functionalities of nonhuman animal oppression we have these unique markers that we must address in order to analyse what exactly this phenomenon ‘speciesism’ is.

The mechanisms of sexism, racism, ableism and basically any way in which living individuals are actively and passively negated can be understood in their specific manifestations, that are specifically experienced by the individuals and groups who become victimized and who are affected. Intersectionally in terms of nonhuman oppression we would need the factor of having experienced being designated the role of actual “food” for example in a completely righteous manner, not in an ambiguous state. We can’t deny that nonhumans know what they are the victims of, that would be highly biologistically speciesist. The complexity of oppression is fully known by the affected nonhuman individuals and groups.

That being said one must add that it is true that life is being negated in its dignity in any cases where oppression takes place. It would be problematic to draw lines of known -isms and for example overlook individual cases of denial of the right to life and dignity.

When we involve the complex-of-nature for example we are going to get rather into understanding how life overall is being classified and negated in a fundamental way, and that not just an oppressive class, but the individual enactor of destructivity is the thinking and acting agent that should be taken a look at (after all ending destructivity is an emancipatory process at its best).

If a nonhuman animal that is considered to be a “farmed animal” crosses a street where people walk and don’t expect him/her, and if a  human who is oppressed crosses a street, we categorically have the scenario that no matter what the nonhuman animal will be considered a lower life in the specific sense of a food provider and a utilitarian-type “resource”. The nonhuman will be excluded from the human race – which is a problem in itself – but be be relegated in the realm of “nature”, which is the sort of “antagonist” to human”” existence. This makes up speciesism and such type of specifics need to be analysed in all detail.

When activists solely focus on nonhumans, they tend to leave nonhumans within the biologistic speciesist paradigm. Intersectionality gets us away from biologist patterns to a partly ambivalent extent. Yet what makes speciesism speciesism, and what makes oppression oppression, and what makes humanity in total to have lived on a specifically nonhuman animal and nature oppressive basis and on other oppressive bases that affect any life in any possibility? I want to face human-created histories in terms of all existent injustices equally.

 

Pastoral speciesism

In context with my fragment: Many forms of speciesism.

„Gentle“, aestheticised oppression:

Pastoral speciesism
‘domestication’ –
the act of keeping nonhuman animals
to gain every right of passage,
to define, use, kill, prepare, ingest the nonhuman animal other.

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Fragments on species-derogation, previous list: Speciesism an animal hatred.

Nonhuman-inclusive

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Nonhuman-inslusive

The term ‘veganism’ describes the ethical and practical exclusion of any animal- and animal derived product or animal-involving procedures/exploitation utilized to serve human interests. It does not say or indicate yet how nonhuman animals should be implied actively into any framework that implies humans/human societies, as a solution to the existent predominant catastrophic human-animal relation. How nonhumans can and should be included and reached out for, be addressed, implied constructively in a way that confronts the ‘animal question’ with due justice, in n toher words: the state of positively dwelling together is not so much and only indirectly put forward.*

Similalry ther term ‘speciesism’ describes the condition of ethical exclusion, now on a basically sociological level. It describes foremostly the biological categorisation yet inasmuch also other forms of categorization – such as religion, philosophical, scientific, etc. – of arbitrary derogative barriers set up by humans/’human cultures and civilization’ towards nonhuman animals.

We thought now to express the direct inclusionary level by a simple term which can be used practically and applied as a scheme to test any settings, condition … to check any given situative constellation for its nonhuman-inclusiveness!

This is about expressing an idea:

For checking anything for its nonhuman-inclusiveness you logically have to open up perspectivcs of how your view of nonhumans can be reasonable and ethically complete, appreciative and open-minded.

You can thus explicitly create, observe, discuss, design, conceptualize each and every aspect of human life in a nonhuman-inclusive approach.

Sounds perhaps too practical and maybe this seems to short a description of our idea, but we find it a helpful angle in our activities.

It should be added that our nonhuman-inclusive approach can be extended into a nonhuman-considerate direction where a seeming absence of nonhumans can be affirmative of nonhuman interests also indirectly, by a decided avoidance of promoting human concepts which openly or subtly suppress nonhumanity and nonhuman animals, but this will be discussed in a seperate, later post.

* This becomes clear e.g. in veganic projects, which 100 percent represent the vegan idea, yet exclude the question of animal life in a proactive form. Veganic projects don’t imply space for nonhuman animals to be involved in a just yet existentially directly present way.

Being radical antispe …

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A very rough expression of a feeling in regards to radical antispeciesism facing a conflict of being stuck in the middle of biologistic ‘animal lovers’ and nonhumanity-oblivious social justice clusters … :

If social justice work categorically excludes animal bodies, it’s questionable to my point of view. Saying this I don’t mean the type of implication that bases on “mild” speciesist, biologistic views of animality.

I come myself from a ‘mixed’race’ background and I have grown up in a country where you would face exclusion if you did not fit into the right image of the virtual “false-ethicity-person” and the right klischee going along with that. It’s not like all foreigners or poc or mixed-race individuals were equally accepted or discrimnated against. Much was and is dependent on the social function society ascribes you to take in the place you live.

Seeing a lot of people who come from socially comparable backgrounds such as mine working rightly for social justice, I wonder why the majority misses out on antispeciesist intersectionality though? To my point of view social justice can’t just evade questions of how concepts about animality and nature have been constructed in our societies. How can social justice turn an oblivious eye on zoocide and ecocide, when exactly those are facts that result from the very same foundations on which other oppressive systems thrived, and when those facts are taking place are all around us?

I believe that justice for humanity can hardly base on the oppressive constructs of animality and nature anymore, without being prolonged types of injustice.

Gender and animal sociology, snippets

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Genderroles, animal sociology and „instincts“
We want to liberate from gender roles for human parenting, yet we assume that nh-animals only lapsed with seahorses, earthworms, kiwis, etc. and their genders and procreational evolution.
What exactly are “motherly instincts”, and what are “fatherly instincts”? Do we even see fathers in the prisoned life nh-animals are stuck in by us? How do we know what would be the typical behaviour for nh-animal families and their social networks in their own chosen contexts?

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Defining Nonhumans as ‘INSTICNTUAL’ is species-derogative and biologistic …
Please quit reducing nonhuman motherhood to “maternal instincts”.

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Instead of shrinking everything about nonhuman animals to “instinctuality”: I can represent nonhumans by discarding speciesist ascriptions, and frame them with liberated / autonomous perspectives, as mutual interfaces.